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Home > News > Moore 15 - Southport 10
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Your News Moore 15 - Southport 10
18
JAN

The long cold spell was over, but Southport took far too long to warm up to this game. In spite of their total domination of the last thirty minutes, they failed to overcome the mistakes and poor tactics of the first half, when they handed the initiative to Moore.

The pitch was playable, but the lower half, towards which Southport played in the first half, was badly waterlogged and quickly cut up into sticky mess as the half proceeded. Coach John Porter had given instructions to play the game in the Moore half, and kick for position at every opportunity. However, Southport started by trying to handle the ball, and the well organised Moore defence was strong enough to stop them in their tracks.

Moore knew that this was a game for the boot, and they took every opportunity to put the ball behind the Southport backs. With the visitors on the back foot, Moore drove forward and won a penalty which they converted to take the lead.

Southport forwards were not the totally dominant force that they usually are against teams below them in the league, but some good drives took them into a scoring position, and a high tackle (not the last in this tough game) on John Sawbridge allowed the fullback to level the scores with a penalty goal. Now that Southport were in the opposition half they simply had to wait for penalties to be conceded by Moore in the difficult conditions. However, when they were awarded a penalty just a few yards out, they inexplicably took a quick tap-and-go, and were easily stopped by the Moore defence. Those lost three points, for surely Sawbridges reliable kicking would have been successful, would cost John Roberts team dearly as the game progressed.

Moore seemed to start the second half a good ten minutes before Southport, and in that time their forwards drove through the mud and down the pitch to score two tries. Now that Southport were 15-3 down they realised that that they had to put in some work, and they began to attack with renewed enthusiasm. Improved kicking put them in position on the slightly drier half of the pitch, and some short passing gave Steve Hunter a chink of light through which he darted to score a typical solo try. Sawbridge converted this try to take the score to 10-15, but now Southport needed a try to level the scores, whereas they would have needed just a penalty goal if that penalty had been kicked in the first half.

For the last fifteen minutes Southport never left the Moore 22 metre area, and were awarded several penalties in kickable positions, which they refused in attempts to score that elusive try. But the Moore defence was as strong as it had been throughout the game, and their determination won the game.

This was a great disappointment, given that Southport had beaten Moore 37-0 back in the autumn. So it must be a lesson in basic tactics that the side needs to learn for the rest of the season.

Southports 2nd XV also played Moore, and won at Waterloo Road by 54-7, an excellent victory which puts them third in the league table. Tries by Matty Atwood(3), Robbie Fawcett(2), Graham riley(2), Dave Oliver (1), and a try and conversion by Karne Green brought a much better start to the new year for Martin Baileys team.

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